Tiny combustions and the smell of butter emanate from Goodnight's Comedy Club's vintage popcorn maker as nationally touring standups such as Marc Maron and Ralphie May step up to the mic. With a brick wall behind them and a checkered floor below, these headliners spin their comic yarns as popcorn, Buffalo wings, and cocktails deftly land on tables. In addition to its cabaret menu of apps and drinks, the club is connected to two restaurants. Every month, the mostly private Grille at Goodnight's unveils a new menu of upscale American fare, from prime rib to lobster mac n cheese and pumpkin ravioli that turns into carriage ravioli at midnight. The Old Bar Restaurant and Bar resides underneath Goodnight's, treating diners to more casual fare in the form of burgers and Tex-Mex platters.
Beloved boy bands New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys rev the engines of adoration among droves of fans with their poptastic summer tour. New Kids on the Block has been plucking heartstrings and handcrafting harmonies since 1986, combining a collection of international hits such as "Hangin' Tough" and "Step by Step" with five-part choreography and fashionable duds. Following in their footsteps, the Backstreet Boys began blowing up charts in the '90s, producing a songbook replete with favorites such as "I Want It That Way," "All I Have to Give," and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." The NKOTBSB Tour brings both acts together for a songful extravaganza, forming the more perfect union prophesied nearly 50 years ago by the Constitution. The May 25 concert also includes the vocal virtuosity of special guest and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, adding to an ear-pleasing stew of dulcet melodies sure to soothe the most savage beast or most irascible mail carrier.
Founded by Jamie Masada when he was just sixteen, The Laugh Factory has become an internationally-known comedy club with locations in three states. This original Sunset Strip venue continues to be a favorite of fledgling and world-famous comics alike, with familiar faces from Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey, Richard Pryor and Chelsea Handler all gracing the stage in years past. The surprisingly intimate space seats only a few hundred people, mostly at café tables and banquettes surrounding the stage, and with the usual two-drink minimum there’s always plenty to eat and drink while you’re being entertained. A nearby VIP lounge offers more discreet access to shows, or (depending on which side of the velvet rope you’re on) for peeking in on the latest celebrity out to catch a laugh. Parking in the neighborhood is almost exclusively restricted, so stick with the valet out front.
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Everyone needs to laugh once or twice, but no more than 10 times in life. Lucky for you, $8 gets you a ticket (a $20 value) for select dates at Hollywood Improv, located at 8162 Melrose Ave.. Hollywood Improv is part of the national Improv chain that helped launch the careers of David Spade, Lily Tomlin, Adam Sandler, and Jerry Seinfeld, but did nothing for the careers of Dikembe Mutombo, Toni Morrison, and Bob Ross. Buy a few Groupons and grab some friends, because comedians require a copious laughter supply to survive.
With your Groupon, you must call at least three days ahead to reserve your ticket for one of the following shows:
Like most comedy clubs, The Hollywood Improv requires a two-item minimum. Check out its extensive menu, which includes the mammoth Improv burger (two ground-beef patties, garlic mayo, Swiss cheese, and lettuce). Email the club five days before your show to make dinner reservations, which gets you priority seating. Check out the available shows, and call the Hollywood Improv to reserve your tickets to the show of your choice.
Citysearch says, "At the Improv, it's big-time acts without the big-time attitude of those Sunset Strip clubs. There's no lining up outside. Enter and have a drink at the warm and inviting bar...The showroom is classic, with the brick wall made famous by years of "Live at the Improv" tapings."
LosAngeles.com says, "Without places like the Hollywood Improv, there would be a little less happiness in the world and probably more violence."
Yelpers and Citysearchers give it four stars:
- This is by far one of my favorite places to go of all time in the way of entertainment. – Bunny L., Yelp
- Overall a great night, inexpensive fun, top-notch comedians, and a mini-ab workout to boot. – Kelley B., Yelp
- I would recommend this place to anyone that wants to have a good laugh and a great time. Leave the uptight, narrow-minded, conservative types at home where they belong!! – ThatGurrlFromLA, Citysearch
- Sonny opened the show by telling everyone to shut up, which seemed especially rude coming from a mime. He seemed very angry about something. – Marlo Cantrell, Seattle Tribune
- Sonny talked throughout the performance and then drank most of my drink. When I protested, he mimed punching me and then actually struck my husband, Dan. – Stephanie Lane, Mime Month
- Halfway through the show, Sonny left stage. When he came back five minutes later, he had clearly been crying. He spent the rest of the show playing “Smoke on the Water” on an acoustic guitar and complaining about not getting in to graduate school. – Keith Baxter, San Diego News
iO West Theater presents improv and sketch-comedy shows and, along with its comedy-sister, the iO Chicago Theater, has served as a training ground for some of America's best entertainers, including Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, and Eric Stonestreet. The theater's main stage (must be age 21+ to attend) features shows such as Top Story! Weekly, a 60-minute written show touching on America's newsliest items ($5 per ticket), and The Armando Show, 90 minutes worth of improv ripped from the monologue of a celebrity guest ($10 per ticket). There are also all-ages shows at Del Close Theater and The Loft. Across all stages, performers make up situations and details as they go along, and what hilarity emerges is a result of training, audience suggestion, and underlying psychological issues. Call ahead to reserve tickets to fill your empty soul with mirth.
During each beginner improv class, students learn the basic skills of improvisational success, honing in on focus, concentration, teamwork, trust, stagework, and scenework skills. Classes meet for 3.5 hours and take place once a week at ComedySportz' theater at 733 Seward Street. Under the tutelage of experienced funnypersons, students quickly become comfortable and poised to unleash quick-thinking, off-the-cuff remarks.